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Customs Targets N1.5 trillion Revenue in 2018



The Nigeria Customs Service has set a revenue target of N1.5 trillion for 2018.

Hammed Ali, Comptroller-General of Customs, , disclosed this at the first management meeting for 2018 held in Abuja.

A statement by Joseph Attah, Customs PRO yesterday, said that in 2017, the Service generated N1.37 trillion, surpassing the year’s target of N770.57 billion.

According it, promotion of officers, which would soon be approved by the board and the review of salaries, payment of bonus to Customs officials, were discussed.

It added that in the meantime, 577 officers were retired according to a circular titled CIRCULAR NO/HRD/2017/003-LIST OF OFFICERS/MEN FOR STATUTORY RETIREMENT IN YEAR 2018 and signed by Sulaiman M.S.J, Comptroller Establishments.

“The officers included a Deputy Comptroller General, an Assistant Comptroller General, 11 Comptrollers, 27 Deputy Comptrollers, 27 Assistant Comptrollers and 23 Chief Superintendents of Customs.

“Similarly, the Service carried out promotion and redeployment of some officers as contained in a statement issued some weeks ago by the Service National Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah.

“Among those promoted in acting capacity were Isa Talatu Mairo to Deputy Comptroller-General Tariff and Trade; Amajam Bukar, Controller, Federal Operations Unit Zone C, elevated to the rank of Assistant Comptroller-General, Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection and David Elisha Chikan as ACG (Human Resources and Development),’’ it said.

It said that the CGC charged the affected officers to see their appointments and as opportunities to contribute their best towards consolidating the gains of the ongoing reforms in the service,” it said.

Other rank and file listed on the retirement notice include five Chief Inspectors of Customs Terminal (CIC T); 21 Chief Inspector of Customs (CIC); 21 Superintendents of Customs (SC) and 36 Deputy Chief Inspectors of Customs (DCIC)

Others are 23 Deputy Comptrollers (DCs); 121 Assistant Chief Inspectors of Customs (ACIC); four ACIC1; 131 Deputy Inspectors of Customs (DIC) and one Assistant Superintendent of Customs 11.

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CognitiveTechnology Reshaping Africa’s Insurance Sector



Nwani is IBM’s Global Markets ClientExecutive for West Africa

By Uzo Nwani


Underinsurance remains a feature of many African economies. With the African Development Bank(AfDB) revising its projected GDP growth rate for the continent to 3.7% from 4.2% by 2018, the region’s relatively low uptake of insurance is one key indicator of its underdevelopment. For folks in the technology space, the insurance sector’s micro and macro issues are often opportunities for technology adoption and utilization.


Technology adoption is however not the key challenge confronting Africa’s insurance sector. A more fundamental problem plaguing the growth of Africa’s multi-trillion-dollar insurance industry is the issue of trust.


Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist Femi Falana recently explained at an insurance colloquium that while most insurance companies in Nigeria are anxious to collect premiums, they are reluctant to pay claims. And when they agree to pay, the payment is deliberately delayed. “One account of such delays is when motorists and drivers fight on the roads to determine who would fix their damaged vehicles,” Falana explained.


In a recent interview with the UK’s Financial Times newspaper, Paul Norman of KPMG East Africa opines that without trust, the industry is as good as nonexistent:“There’s a trust deficit gap — people don’t buy insurance because they don’t trust the providers,” he says. “They don’t think the promise [that a claim will be paid] is going to be delivered. Claims are not paid quickly, fairly or correctly. It’s a huge pain point across the continent.”


While the adoption of advanced technologies like big data analytics, cloud and cognitive computing will certainly boost the operational performance and efficiency levels of insurance firms (and businesses generally), insurance industry practitioners and institutions must work harder to fix the sector’s trust issues, working in concert with technology firms who will support their market development plans with appropriate solutions and systems.

APA Insurance, a Kenyan insurer catering to both individuals and corporates, recently turned to IBM to optimize its claims processes. The insurance underwriter can now gain greater visibility into policies, premiums and loss ratios through IBM Analytics Solutions, ultimately improving its product offerings, service delivery and customers experience.

While IBM continues to evaluate APA’s adoption and integration of its business intelligence (BI) solutions, the bigger picture is that there is a pent-up demand for insurers and improved risk management services across sub-Sahara Africa. Technology could help unlock the sector, further contributing to the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP). The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently predicted that emerging markets and developing economies will be at the forefront of growth for 2017-18 at more than double the rate of advanced economies.

African insurers will no doubt increasingly use technology to rejig their business models, including as a tool to cope with changes in the markets and changes in regulation. Technology will also eradicate the industry’s traditional boundaries, allowing new entrants to compete with the established behemoths in the industry. And as markets mature, insurance practitioners will also have to come up with strategies to better manage risk and technologically savvy customers. To succeed, insurers will have to work faster, more efficiently and, above all, smarter.


The report of a study by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV), “Insurance 2025: Reducing Risk in an Uncertain Future” reveals that two technological trends will have a high impact on the future of business across industries: the rise of cognitive computing, and the increasing potential for decentralization of systems and decision making.


If systems are decentralized, the question will be where the center of control will sit, and how fragmented the networks will be. For example, limitations imposed by privacy concerns, regulation, or liability could hamper the use of devices encourage the device autonomy and the centralization of control.


Cognitive computing refers to next-generation information systems designed to accelerate, enhance and take advantage of human expertise. These systems can learn large amounts of data, reason with purpose, and interact with humans naturally. Their ability to handle unstructured data and range across wide subject domains gives them opportunity to remake business processes. We believe these technologies will have reached maturity by 2025.


An IBM IBVinsurance survey in 2016 found that 79% of insurance company leaders believe technology will have a major impact on their organizations, and 71% said they have begun to use cognitive technologies. When combined with artificial intelligence (AI), cognitive systems can enable insurers to assess the risk of loaning to an individual to a high degree.


We believe that insurance companies should consider these four moves to succeed in the next decade:


1) Increase flexibility: Take out expenses and build in flexibility by moving core systems to a hybrid cloud that are available as-a-service, which enables experimentation and entry into new markets entry at low costs, on secure platforms. As products move to “as-a-service” models, turn legacy systems into components to help sustain cost competitiveness.


2) Develop partner ecosystems: Organizations in the insurance industry will need to collaborate to have the best data about consumers and the risks of loaning money to them. The goal is to cultivate partnerships and membership in ecosystems within the insurance industry. When using “as-a-service” products, an insurance company will need to cooperate with service partners to offer the complete package.


3) Improve predictive capabilities: Insurance companies will need to improve their speed of change by bringing together technology, business capabilities and product investment. They should use analytics, pattern recognition and data to chart progress, as well as understand customer behavior and risk parameters.


4) Embrace innovation: Leading innovators build an organization with a corporate culture and design processes that encourage innovation. Corporate structures can be made more flexible by streamlining internal innovation processes, with centralized funding and investment models.


Embracing innovation will build skill with component technologies of whichever future scenario wins, providing the capabilities necessary to prosper in changing conditions. And building agile development and business service composition skills will keep your organization nimble enough to capitalize on market changes.


As African economies expand and evolve, C-suite executives in Africa’s insurance sector will need to look towards the future, embracing cloud and cognitive systems to maintain their organization’s competitive advantage. By using this holistic approach, they can continue to transform their business even as their industry is restructuring all around them.

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NIPOST Bill Has Capacity To Generate Huge Revenue For Nigeria – Postmaster General



Mr Bisi Adegbuyi, Postmaster General, Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST),  has said that the NIPOST Bill would increase the nation’s revenue.

Adegbuyi said when passed into a law, the bill currently before the National Assembly would make the NIPOST an alternative revenue source for the country.

He said this on Thursday in Calabar, at the Quadrennial Delegates’ Conference of Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC) NIPOST Branch.

According to him, “The NIPOST Bill currently with the national assembly has the capacity to generate huge revenue for the country.

“We are not sleeping; we are doing everything possible as a management to see that the bill scales through.

“In this moment that the country is looking for alternative revenue sources, NIPOST will be one of the largest revenue earners for the country if the bill is passed,’’ he said.

Adegbuyi, who was represented by Mr Aliyu Mahmood Director, Human Resources and Administration of NIPOST, said the bill was part of reforms embarked by the current management.

He stated that NIPOST could not be left behind in the current world of digital telecommunication.

He charged members of staff of NIPOST to remain focused and work harder irrespective of any challenges, and assured them that the management was doing everything to improve their welfare.

President General of SSASCGOC, Mr Mohammed Yunusa, said that the association was ready to show more interest in the affairs of NIPOST, because of its strategic importance.

He expressed readiness of the body to work with the NIPOST management in ensuring the passage of the NIPOST Bill by the National Assembly.

While declaring the conference open, Deputy Governor of Cross River, Prof. Ivara Esu, charged NIPOST to reinvent itself and be a leading giant in the industry through digital telecommunication.

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Illegal Firm Carries out Ground Handling Operations at Lagos Airport



An unregistered ground handling company, Menzies Aviation yesterday carried out ground handling operations at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos without regulatory approval.

Investigation by our correspondent indicated that the ground handling company was still undergoing certification processes with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), before it carried out the alleged illegal ground handling operations.

An NCAA source said the ground handling agent  handled Air Cote d’Ivoire at Lagos Airport.

The flight departed from Abidjan.

Investigations revealed that the ground handling company has its headquarters in Dublin, Scotland, but has its base in Accra, Ghana.

In a swift reaction, spokesman of NCAA, Sam Adurogboye,  in a telephone interview  confirmed the development, .

He said the NCAA has commenced investigations on the issue.

The unregistered company used the license of Precision Aviation Handling Company Ltd (PAHCOL), which was issued certification by the regulatory body some few years ago, but could not commence operations due to lack of equipment.

Besides, it was gathered that Menzies Aviation used the ground handling equipment of Arik Air to carry out ground handling operations on the West African carrier. Arik Air is not licensed to do ground handling for another airline, but has the right to handle some of its operations.

The source said: “The handling company came in without an operating license and they rendered handling services to Air Cote d’Ivoire today (Tuesday). It indicates that our airports are porous to the extent that an unregistered ground handling company will operate in our airport. They borrowed Arik Air equipment to commence handling meanwhile Arik Air is not a ground handling company. How did their staff get to the ramp?

“The company used PACHOL license, which NCAA has already told them that it is not transferable. NCAA actually told them to do the proper thing that if they want to come into Nigeria, they should go and register while the agency carries out security checks on them. They know that if they use PACHOL name to operate, the company cannot attract foreign and big airlines. So, they claimed to be Menzies to clients in order to attract airlines.

“The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) did not give them apron pass; they now went to use Arik equipment to get to the apron area to commence operations. They are using PACHOL licence and Arik equipment to deceive clients and FAAN.”

A security source said such act was a breach of security standards and should attract severe sanctions from the regulatory agency.

The security source said before any company could carry out operations at the airport, it ought to go through security checks, which he said the company had violated with commencement of operations without due approval.

Adurogboye said the regulatory agency was investigating the issue and confirmed that the agency had been reported to the management.

He said: “The matter has been reported to us. I have been able to confirm that and NCAA is looking at all angles on the matter. We will look at the aspect of registration. Do they have the appropriate clearance to do what they did?

“We know they applied to NCAA for ground handling business, but what we are looking at is whether they were certified to start operating. We are investigating their operations.”

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